Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Calling Birds

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four calling birds. 

I'm not sure what constitutes a "calling" bird. The PNC Twelve Days of Christmas list says four calling birds will set you back $519.96. The birds must be the sort that sing when caged, finches perhaps. You need 9 days of calling birds times four birds a day which is 36 birds plus the 12 partridges, 22 turtle doves and 30 French hens. And don't forget the cost. $4,679.64 for 9 days of calling birds.

Instead, let's provide for the calling birds that live in the neighborhood. You'll need birdseed. I recommend "Four Seasons No-Waste" sold by Duncraft. Birds eat all of this. There is something for every bird in your yard; sunflower, cracked corn, peanuts and thistle. It does attract squirrels so you have to use it where you can keep the squirrels at bay. Five pounds of this costs $16.95. You'll want to get a lot so get four days worth.

Next, you need to provide extra food in the winter. The smaller birds, chickadees, for instance, need to eat their weight every day to maintain body warmth. The best thing in the world for them is suet. Suet comes in all sorts of flavors to attract all sorts of birds. Get the version to the left. It attracts the greatest variety of birds and provides the most calories for them over the winter, all year 'round, in fact. This large cake costs $12.95. You'll want to get 4 to send, alternating with the bird seed.

Lastly, for day 9, let's think about the bird seed. We're really interested in only feeding the birds, not the wildlife. You'll need a feeder, not just any feeder, mind you, but one that baffles the squirrels who, I swear, take classes in how to jump from a tree to the bird feeder. Let's go with this one. It's $29.95, fills from the top and has four feeder positions. The metal stand you see the cardinal perched on is a lever that closes when a squirrel lands on the feeder. It's weight triggered and the average songbird is too light to close the door.

So, for our four calling birds, we have 20 pounds of bird seed, $67.80; 4 suet cakes, $51.80; and a feeder at $29.95 for a total before taxes and shipping of $149.55. Even with taxes and shipping, you are way ahead of the costs of 4 calling birds, whatever birds those happen to be.

Plus, if you put the feeder where you can see it, you will derive much pleasure in watching who comes to your feeder. You cannot put a price on feeding the birds. Just imagine what a walk outside would be like if there were no bird songs.

Beverage: Edinburgh's Finest tea


No comments:

Post a Comment